With the Aug. 7 primary election looming, local candidates came out in droves to the Dearborn Homecoming festival, held Aug. 3-5 in .
Among them were both regional and local candidates–including 19th District Court judge candidates Candyce Abbatt, Sam Salamey and Richard Wygonik; 12th District U.S. House candidates John Dingell, Cynthia Kallgren and Karen Jacobsen; State Rep. George Darany; and Wayne County sheriff candidate Mohamad Hammoud.
Despite the competitive nature of the race, Salamey said Dearborn Homecoming is more of a city tradition than just politics.
"I tried to refrain from bringing up the election or the campaign," he said of his stop by the festival Saturday. "If someone initiates a (conversation) ... or they have questions or they want to know anything about the elections, then basically I will answer their questions; I will tell them what I believe and why I'm running."
Incumbent judge Wygonik said he took a similar stance of being approachable without approaching.
"I try not to interfere in people having fun," he said. "If people want to chat, we chat. If they don't, we don't."
Wygonik added that he enjoys Homecoming because it is a time that current and former residents of the city come together.
"It's wonderful because people come from all over who have Dearborn connections and we see people who are old friends; you make new friends," Wygonik said.
For Salamey, that was exactly the case as he spent part of this weekend reconnecting with old Dearborn neighbors who had come up from Florida, he said.
"I think it's important to go to Homecoming, with or without elections," Salamey said. "This is Dearborn Homecoming — it's time for families to get together, to connect with old friends, to make new friends and to have some leisure time with the family."
Leisure time for 12th District House of Representatives candidate Jacobsen was spent checking out classic cars Friday night at the Cruisin' Dearborn event. Her husband, Lee, even joined her with his classic Ford car–decked out with Jacobsen for Congress magnets for the occasion.
While the hot temperatures and humidity were inescapable, so was the lure of stopping by Dearborn's biggest summer celebration just days before the primary election.
Jacobsen's view? "Whatever happens, happens"–she's just happy to have spent time better getting to know her neighbors in Dearborn.
Salamey agreed, but said he's anxious for election day all the same.
"It's an exciting time, and I would be lying to you if I told you that I'm not a little nervous," Salamey said. "I'm nervous, but I'm excited at the same time."
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